Features authentic discussion opportunities using AI tools
As 2023 comes to a close, the December Ultra update brings several features to enhance group functionality and gradebook management. With this update, instructors can assign a unique due date to each group using the exceptions workflow. If necessary, instructors can reset the group due date to the default.
Gradebook sorting controls provide easier ways to interact with grade information in an Ultra course. The new Flexible Grading interface also features updated sorting controls for column types, allowing instructors and graders to sort data in ascending and descending order.
Image 1: Sorting assessments in Flexible Grading using the Students tab
Further updates to assessments and grading allow instructors to align goals to questions within a question bank and create expanded rubrics without any limit to the row or column sizes. Question-level goal alignment ensures that assessment items measure the desired learning outcomes. Moreover, larger rubrics allow for greater criteria to support assessment and accreditation.
Additionally, Ultra's exclusive AI course design assistant tools can generate discussion prompts to incorporate authentic assessment and increase learner engagement. The generation process allows instructors to enter a discussion or journal description, select a desired cognitive process based on Bloom's Taxonomy, set the complexity, and generate a discussion or journal title. The instructor can review the generated prompts and select one to add to the discussion or journal. After adding the prompt, the instructor can edit or further refine the prompt as appropriate. The goal of this tool is to encourage students to engage in higher-order thinking, apply their knowledge, justify or challenge their beliefs and ideas, and emulate real-world situations.
Image 2: Instructors can describe the discussion, select the desired cognitive process and complexity, and then generate prompts
Faculty should see the latest updates in Ultra courses around December 7-8 2023. The next update to our Ultra test environment will take place on December 12, 2023; release notes are posted to the What's New in Ultra that same week. Faculty who are interested in test driving new features before they are released to production should open an RT ticket to request early access. Please watch the FAQs, including the What's New with Ultra page, and myUMBC for additional information about Ultra.
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Posted: November 30, 2023, 2:58 PM